The season is ripe for political discontent and a revolution. The Fun Guy’s latest album provides a pretty good soundtrack for such an occasion.

From the Attic to the Underground comes from the Lawrence trio, one of the scene’s newest up-and-coming acts spotted around town over the last year. Fronted by staggeringly tall Ranjit Arab (who is not Arab, but actually Indian and American), the band has been indulging us with a perfectly retro punk vibe (think The Clash). The album was recorded at Exception Studio in Topeka. Songs tackle everything from identity to politics to crimes against indigenous populations (when a seven-foot-tall brown man is yelling at you about stealing land from the indigenous, you need to listen), all against some speedy guitar riffs and beats that always get the crowd going. The band burst out the gate strong at the beginning of the year, and don’t seem to be slowing down.

We chatted with frontman Ranjit Arab about the new release.

IHLM: We’re sure you’re a fun guy, but you sound pretty angry on this album. What prompted you to tackle these political themes? 
RA: Ha! Yes, the whole point of The Fun Guy is just to have fun and hopefully make people dance and have a good time, but I’m also pretty upset with the state of things these days. How can you not be? If you aren’t, you’re not paying attention. There’s no room to remain silent. We all need to speak up about the atrocities happening in Palestine with our U.S. tax dollars, for example. Meanwhile, “Prisoner or Guard” is about having to work your entire adult life, and “Never Skipped A Beat” has a rant about various respectable professions, so, yeah, I have a lot on my mind these days.


IHLM: I imagine you feel like most of us (yours truly included) who live with ethnic identities in the U.S. Which songs helped you process this?
RA: All of them did, really–that’s why I write in the first place. I’ve struggled a lot being torn between two cultures (American and Indian), and so everything I create reflects that, I guess. “Lost and Found” was especially therapeutic since it allowed me to rant in a way that wasn’t just shouting.

IHLM: On “Lost and Found,” you proclaim “every city in the nation was built on a foundation of lies.” Tell us how you really feel, Ranjit?
RA: Yes! I’ll always tell you how I really feel. I’m terrible at hiding that. I want people to have fun when they see us, but also leave them with some deep topics like settler colonialism and how we Americans are just as guilty of terrorizing people (Native Americans) as what’s happening now with Palestinians. So, we have a lot of work to do–whether that’s reparations for Indigenous people or putting an immediate end to the genocide against Palestinians.


IHLM: Future plans for the band?
RA: Right now we’re just looking forward to playing our next show at Lucia on Thursday, and lining up more gigs, writing more songs. I’m sure my politics will always be front and center in my songs, but hopefully people also find the tunes catchy and enjoy the musicianship. I’m especially excited to be playing with bassist Noah Meitler and drummer Foy Keith–we have a good chemistry that’s hard to come by, I think.


You can see The Fun Guy hit the Lucia stage for a somewhat album-release show on Thursday, June 13.



Fally Afani is an award-winning journalist with a career spanning more than 20 years in media. She has worked extensively in radio, television, newspapers, magazines, and more.

Leave a Reply